Palm Coast is a hidden gem along Florida’s historic northeast Coast. Tucked between Jacksonville and St. Augustine to the north, and Daytona Beach to the south, Palm Coast is more than its three exit signs along Interstate 95 make it appear.
Sited in compact Flagler County, in an area rich in history, Palm Coast is a growing yet cozy place to relocate, retire, raise a family or build a dream home. Miles of pristine beaches? Got it. Same for hiking, biking and fitness trails? Check. Think Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway-rimmed neighborhoods, thick oak canopies and a throwback Old Florida feel.
But, it’s what lies outside Palm Coast that makes it live even larger.
One of Florida’s major ports, the city of Jacksonville lies 62 miles north of Palm Coast. It’s the closest major metropolis and an easy jaunt up I-95 for professional sporting events, art and cultural fun and major-league shopping. Make a day of your Jacksonville excursion. En-route, visit the World Golf Hall of Fame, which lies between St. Augustine and Jacksonville, at Exit 323.
The Nation’s Oldest City is Palm Coast’s closest northern neighbor. St. Augustine is located 28.3 miles north of Palm Coast, which technically makes it — okay, we’ll say it just for fun — Palm Coast’s northernmost suburb.
We say that tongue-in-cheek. St. Augustine is one of the United States’ most historic destinations and a cultural bonanza. Founded September 8, 1565, it has endured wars, hurricanes and innumerable hard times to emerge as a still-vibrant community in the 21st century.
The arts and education are huge here. The Bridge of Lions over the Matanzas River and the 17th-century stone fort, the Castillo de San Marcos, still dominate the waterfront. East, across the Bridge, a thriving beach community makes the area a prime spot to play or eat. And the outlet malls! St. Augustine boasts two, across I-95 from each other. Only 34 minutes away!
Head south of Palm Coast for some fast times. Daytona Beach is 36.5 miles away, and so is the iconic Daytona International Speedway and the “World’s Most Famous Beach.” Daytona Beach is one of Florida’s tourism powerhouses, revved by major racing events at the Speedway, its year-round beach scene and other attractions such as the historic Ponce Inlet lighthouse.
You can take a tour of the Speedway complex, visit the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America museum, walk the Daytona Beach pier and drive (only in certain sections) on hard-packed sands at low tide, exactly as early 20th-century racers, then NASCAR pioneers did from the 1930s-1950s. Daytona Beach is a quick 41 minutes south from Palm Coast, via I-95. Remember to watch your speed.
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